This Week & Beyond....
Hey everyone, just a couple things to remind you of this week!!
1) Prayer: If you're reading this right now, please say a prayer for the team serving on Sunday. Just because you're not on the stage, doesn't mean you can't be apart of team this week. Let's pray for:
- The team: Lisa, Tony, Darian, Greg D., Kelsey, Elleah, Eryn(Video), Steve(Sound)
- Practice: That it may go smoothly, Holy Spirit anointed, creative...
- Congregation: That they'd be ready to receive and participate. That the Lord would stir worship in their hearts and that they'd be encouraged and changed for His glory!
2) Team night: As per the email you received yesterday, October 30th @ 7pm will be our first team night of the year. Here's a little of what to expect.
- an intimate time with the Lord, together!
- acoustic style worship (depending on who can all come we'll have it at 36 McKenzie, or, move the chairs into a large circle and meet in the middle of the sanctuary.)
- stand up base, violin, amps (turned down) for electric guitars/bass, small drum kit with brushes or tubanos, acoustic guitars, keys, vocals...
- leaders bring songs (load them onto planning center under your name, I have created a header for the four of us)
- everyone will have access to music. Paper or tablet.
- spontaneous playing
- prayer for each other, and corporately
If you haven't already, please respond on planning centre as to your availability! See you there!!
You're Good; Now All You Need Is a Little Suffering
by Mark Littleton, Gladstone, Missouri
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10)
As a young man, I remember reading about a young opera star who possessed a wondrous voice and thrilled audiences. Someone said, though, "After she has suffered a little, she'll be extraordinary."
I thought a lot about that, and after some time, I prayed an awesome but very foolish prayer. I said to God, "Lord, I've never really suffered any." I'd been a Christian about three years at the time. "So why don't You send a little suffering my way to let me experience it and hopefully become a more committed and amazing Christian as a result."
I suppose at the time I thought God would let me get a broken leg, or I'd go through a bad case of the flu or something like that. Instead, I ended up with a debilitating clinical depression that lasted nearly two-and-a-half years. During that time, I became suicidal, despondent, and entered a darkness that was unrelenting and filled with mental monsters that almost took my life. It was not pleasant. Nonetheless, when I came out of it, I saw changes in my life that thrilled me in many ways. I became far more sympathetic and empathetic, more caring and loving, more encouraging and giving. One thing I didn't expect, though, was the creativity and the unleashing of praise in my life. Ever afterwards, I have seen my imagination grow and I began writing songs and lyrics for praise music, as well as other pieces for worship like dramas, poetry, creative readings, and even a play.
Why do I write about this? I think in the context of praise and worship that going through trouble and difficulty are good things for bands, choirs, music composers, and songsters. While we suffer in the plan and hands of God, He may let us languish for a period of time, only to unleash us later when we emerge with stronger character and a more passionate voice than ever before.
Some years ago, I read the Diary of David Brainerd, the son-in-law of Jonathan Edwards, the architect of the Great Awakening in America in the 1700s. Brainerd suffered terribly from all kinds of ailments, but his diary is a sweet testament to the power of prayer when it comes out of a heart honed by grief. It's worth reading by every person involved in leading worship as it shows what true prayer can do in a life sculpted by the Spirit through suffering.
Realize that troubles, disputes, problems, and even real pain can be used by God for good in all of us. This is especially true for those of us who have the privilege of bringing a congregation into the throne room of God. As God shapes us into the image of Christ, one of his primary tools will be suffering.
1. What sorts of difficulties have you experienced that have caused God's work in your life to go deeper than before?
2. Be honest: Is the closing prayer in this devotional something that makes you uncomfortable? Why or why not?